- Andrew Lynch
REEL NEWS: JULY 13TH-JULY 20TH
This week; Hollywood mourns actors and effects creators; Tom Holland spills the beans (again); more Star Wars animated shows; DC's Black Adam casting news; Netflix trailers; biggest budget film and most watched films.
Naya Rivera Body Found
After an intensive search last week, the body of Naya Rivera has been found at Lake Piru.
The Glee actress went missing last Wednesday after heading out on the lake with her 4-year old son on a rented boat.
Her body was found on the edge of the lake, with the coroner ruling that cause of death was accidental drowning.
Her Glee co-stars, who helped with the search, held a small vigil for her at the lake.
Glee creators, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck and Ian Brennan honoured the actress, saying, “She had the rare combination of humility and endless confidence in her talent”.
The creators also announced that they were creating a college fund for Rivera’s son.
Rivera’s cast members as well remembered her, including Heather Morris and Darren Criss.
Naya Rivera (1987-2020)
Clone Wars: Bad Batch Series
A new Star Wars animated series is coming to Disney+.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a spin-off/sequel to the animated The Clone Wars series and will focus on Clone Force 99, who were introduced in the final season of The Clone Wars.
From Star Wars animation royalty, Dave Filoni, the series will focus on The Bad Batch, who were imperfect clone troopers, and how they survive in an Imperical galaxy.
In a statement, Lucasfilm said, “In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose”.
The Bad Batch will premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2021.
Grant Imahara Passed Away
Electrical engineer and Hollywood modelmaker, Grant Imahara has passed away aged 49.
Imahara is most known for working on Mythbusters and Netflix’s White Rabbit Project.
He also worked on major blockbuster films including the Star Wars prequels, The Matrix Reloaded and Revolution, and Jurassic Park: The Lost World with his intricate and detailed model work.
Imahara died as a result of a brain aneurysm in his Los Angeles home.
Mythbusters co-host, and colleague Adam Savage tweeted his condolences.
Grant Imahara (1971-2020)
Kelly Preston Died
Actress Kelly Preston has died as a result of a two-year battle with breast cancer.
Preston, who was known for her roles in Jerry Maguire, Twins and What A Girl Wants was 57-years old.
Preston’s husband, John Travolta announced her passing on Instagram.
Preston also starred in a number of Travolta films including Battlefield Earth, Old Dogs and her most recent, and now her last, appearance being in Gotti.
Kelly Preston (1962-2020).
Atomic Blonde 2
While promoting her new film, The Old Guard, Charlize Theron has sparked rumours about a sequel. Just, not for The Old Guard.
In an interview to Total Film, Theron revealed that she has pitched Atomic Blonde 2 to Netflix.
Theron said, “We took [Atomic Blonde 2] to them and Scott Stuber [Head of Original Films at Netflix] was really interested in it. We talked to him about it extensively, and we’re in the process of writing it right now”.
Atomic Blonde, directed by John Wick co-creator David Leitch, saw Theron as a MI6 agent in 1980s Berlin in all its neon-soaked glory with some brutal, pulse pounding action.
Any further developments can be found at Fade To, when they occur.
Gina Prince-Bythewood's Next Project
The Old Guard director, Gina Prince-Bythewood has already found a new project to direct, according to Variety.
Prince-Bythewood will direct The Woman King, which has Viola Davis and potentially Lupita Nyong’o attached to star.
The Woman King is based on the true story of a general of the all-female military unit of the Kingdom of Dahomey in Africa during the 18th and 19th century.
Davis will play the general, Nanisca, with Nyong’o to play her daughter, Nawi, as they defend their country against French invaders and neighbouring tribes.
Nyong’o has been attached to the film for a while, and while her name has been mentioned in the recent news, nothing says she has left.
Uncharted Filming (?)
Tom Holland, it seems, just can’t keep his mouth shut.
The Spider-Man star, infamous for spoiling projects, has revealed that the long-buried Uncharted film has started production.
The actor posted a photo on Instagram that sees his ‘directors chair’ with ‘Nate’ printed on it, and the caption ‘Day One’.
Initially, this seems ambitious as most film and TV production are put on hold for the pandemic, with only certain productions outside of the US allowed to resume.
Well, not long after the internet got excited about an Uncharted film finally being made, a Sony representative clarified things.
Sony insisted that production has not begun and instead that preparations are underway and they are ‘hoping to start soon’.
Good one, Tom.
Just Cause Film Director Found
Sticking with videogame/film adaptations, the Just Cause film has a director.
Michael Dowse, director of Kumail Nanjiana-starrer Stuber and Netflix’s Coffee & Kareem, will handle the game adaptation, Deadline reports.
The film is being written by Derek Kolstad, a John Wick series writer, with Constantin Film and Prime Universe producing.
The Just Cause series follows Rico 'The Scorpion' Rodriguez who, armed with a wrist-mounted grappling hook and infinite number of parachutes, wreaks havoc across exotic and tropical locales.
No word on who will play ‘The Scorpion’, or a release date.
Project Power Trailer
Netflix have released a trailer for what is surely to be there next ‘blockbuster’ movie.
Project Power sees an ex-soldier (Jamie Foxx), a cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and a teenage drug pusher work together to destroy a drug that grants superpowers for a brief period of time.
The film looks to be a blend of Limitless with the superhero genre, in an attempt to find a fresh take in an overly saturated genre.
The film is from Henry Joost and Arile Schulman who directed Nerve, and Paranormal Activity 3 and 4.
Project Power hits Netflix August 14th.
Hollywood have exhausted every possible 80s movie to reboot and have decided to remake the other Chevy Chase 80s comedy that isn’t Vacation.
Jon Hamm will star in a remake of the 80s film Fletch, which is based on Gregory McDonald’s mystery novels of the same name.
Fletch is an investigative reporter who uses a plethora of disguises to get the scoop.
Superbad director Greg Mottola will direct the film which is adapting the book Confess, Fletch, the second in the series.
The film will also be produced by Miramax, a company founded by the Weinstein brothers.
Hollywood have really got their finger on the pulse with this one.
As if there weren’t enough variations on a sequel to Watchmen, DC have announced a new graphic novel sequel series to the revered Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon graphic novel.
Rorschach, will be a 12-issue series from writer Tom King (Mister Miracle, Vision) with art by Jorge Fornés (Amazing X-Men, Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil).
The miniseries is set 35 years after the events of Watchmen, when the first presidential candidate in decades is killed by someone dressed as the psychopathic vigilante, Rorschach, who was killed at the end of Watchmen.
Tom King said, “Like the HBO Watchmen show and very much like the original ’86 Watchmen, this is a very political work”.
“It’s called Rorschach not because of the character Rorschach, but because what you see in these characters tells you more about yourself than about them” King continued.
This comic marks the 3rd ‘sequel’ to Watchmen comic, with the Watchmen HBO series and Geoff Johns’ graphic novel Doomsday Clock.
Rorschach #1 will be released October 13th.
Hawkeye Disney+ Directors
Disney+’ Hawkeye series has its sights on the episodic directors for its Marvel series, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reports.
Amber Finlayson and Katie Ellwood, directors of Amazon’s Troop Zero, will reportedly direct a chunk of the series.
Rhys Thomas, a SNL director alum and John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch director, will also assist directing the episodes Finlayson and Ellwood don’t.
Hawkeye will star Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton, and inspired by Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run, focuses on Barton training Kate Bishop to become the new Hawkeye.
The series is written by reoccurring Mad Men writer Johnathan Igla, and is intended to be released late 2021, but with other Marvel/Disney+ shows being pushed back, it will most likely be later.
Atom Smasher in Black Adam
The cast of DC’s Black Adam just got a little…bigger.
Noah Centineo has joined the DC anti-hero film as Albert Rothestein, a.k.a Atom Smasher.
Atom Smasher has the ability to change his atomic size, so he can alter his size and mass at will.
In the comics, Smasher is a member of the Justice Society of America, which was a proto-Justice League, and a team Black Adam is a member of.
Dwayne Johnson, Black Adam himself, said late last year that the Justice Society would appear in the film.
Other Justice Society members include Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Power Girl, Stargirl, Wildcat, Dr. Midnite and a number of other heroes.
Black Adam comes from Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, The Shallows) and will explore the DC anti-hero, who is the ruler of Kahndaq and posses the abilities of SHAZAM! as well as being his nemesis.
Expect more casting news of Justice Society heroes for Black Adam, which is set to be released December 22nd, 2021.
Netflix Viewing Numbers
Netflix have finally released the viewing numbers for their top 10 most watched Netflix Original films.
Netflix are normally secretive about their content viewing numbers, leading to fans not knowing if their favourite show was cancelled because of low viewing numbers, like with The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina.
So, the Most Watched Netflix Original Films (Over a 4 Week Period) are:
Chris Hemsworth’s recent action film, Extraction - 99 million
Sandra Bullock’s A Quite Place knock-off, Bird Box - 89 million
Markie ‘Mark’ Wahlberg's Spenser Confidential - 85 million
Michael Bay’s 6 Underground - 83 million
Adam Sandler’s Murder Mystery - 83 million
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman - 64 million
Oscar Isaac's jungle-heist film Triple Frontier - 63 million
David Spade’s The Wrong Missy - 59 million
Recent Spanish, class inequality film The Platform - 56 million
Noah Centineo’s other rom-com The Perfect Date - 55 million
Not long after these numbers came out, Netflix also tweeted the predicted numbers for their recent hit, The Old Guard, which is estimated to reach 72 million viewers, putting it at #6 on the list, which should all but confirm a sequel in the works.
The biggest take away from this list is (with exceptions), Netflix put out a lot of average films, and people are willing to watch it.
Netflix Spy Thriller from Avengers: Endgame Directors
Finally, Netflix have brought out the big bucks to pit two of the hottest guys in Hollywood against each other.
Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling will star in Netflix’s The Gray Man, based on the book series by Mark Greaney.
The Gray Man will see Ryan Gosling play Gentry, an assassin who travels around the world to hunt down his former CIA partner, Chris Evans’ Lloyd Hansen.
The film also has Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame directors Joe & Anthony Russo directing, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely on to provide touch-ups to Joe Russo’s script.
This all comes at a hefty price with Netflix dropping around $200 million USD on the project, making it their most expensive original film to date.
As Deadline reported, the intention is for this to become Netflix’s answer to the James Bond franchise, with an international spy franchise of their own.
James Bond style + Avengers directors + Ryan Gosling + Chris Evans = hell yeah!